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The genocide of signed languages: protecting the linguistic rights of Africa's deaf children

By Emma Asonye, Speech and Hearing Scientist, University of New Mexico
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Deaf rights to language, expression, literacy and education have been marginalised throughout history. And signed languages have taken second place to spoken languages. The 1880 Milan Convention, for example, gave rise to a period when deaf children were forced to use oral language at school.

The passing of the convention amounted to a global attack on the linguistic rights of deaf people. The convention passed a resolution that deaf children (and students) should be mandated to ‘speak’ and…

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